Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
One of the many interesting articles that have appeared in the new journal portal: Libraries and the Academy:
Ideally, advances in information technology could be used to improve access to information resources and promote the discovery of new knowledge, to improve educational opportunities, or simply to enhance the free flow of information essential to an informed citizenry. But in the new economy, these salutary outcomes are often forced to take a back seat to the proprietary interests of an steadily shrinking handful of multinational corporations whose overriding interest, unfortunately for public policy, is the extraction of profit from information resources.
A striking example concerns the distribution of educational reading materials in the higher education environment . . .
The Associated Press reports:
For the third time, the Bush administration has delayed release of 68,000 pages of Ronald Reagan\'s White House records, including vice presidential papers from President Bush\'s father. The papers were to have come out in January, 12 years after Reagan left office as provided under law. The White House delayed the release to June 21, then to the last day in August.
On Friday, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales sought a third extension, this time with no deadline, so the administration can review the records and consult representatives of former presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton . . . ``I think it\'s a scandal to hold them back,\'\' Anna Nelson, a historian at American University, said Friday. ``I think the whole point of the Presidential Records Act is to open documents. It goes against the spirit of the law.\'\'
Although acknowledging it as a high priority, Governor James Gilmore has not decided whether the state will fund the construction of a new special collections library for the University of Virginia:
Money for the special collections library was among $275 million in state funding for capital projects not already under contract -- mainly college construction projects -- that Gilmore froze this year to balance the state budget and keep the car-tax rollback on schedule . . . [ More from the Washington Post .]
The University of Virginia Special Collections Department holds 300,000 rare books and 12 million+ manuscripts, including the only known complete manuscript of Whitman\'s Leaves of Grass.
Someone writes \"Wayne State University recognizes librarian/archivist by naming her recipient of Emerging Corporate Leadership Award. Article also discusses archival services conducted by her company, which are somewhat unique to the archival world.
Also, a rather non-traditional article for you to include. Most of your material cited relate to \"mainstream\" librarianship. This services as just another reminder of how versatile librarians/archivists can be.
They start by saying \"IF THERE IS ONE INSTITUTION on a college campus that has never faced outside competition, it is the library.\"
Now any number of a half-dozen companies would like to undermine the library\'s monopoly. They cover all the usual suspects, Questia, ebrary, netLibrary, XanEdu, and Jones.
Until Roosevelt, Presidents leaving office routinely took their papers with them. George Washington set the precedent in 1797 when he took his files home with him to Mount Vernon, with the hope—never fulfilled—of building a library to house them.
A nice piece on the acquisition by Harvard\'s Houghton Library of the collection of Boston bibliophile and Longfellow fanatic Victor Gulotta:
Victor Gulotta\'s collection once filled his upstairs library. It included first-edition books, manuscripts, letters, photographs, and other objects associated with American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) - about 1,000 items, amassed over 14 years. Possibly the largest Longfellow collection in private hands, it spilled into Gulotta\'s hallway, where parts of it adorned the walls above the stairs. . .
More from today\'s Boston Globe.
Despite its lazy title, this article (from the latest issue of University Business) appears to be an intelligent survey of the companies seeking to sell digital content to academic libraries:
If there is one institution on a college campus that has never faced outside competition, it is the library. Cafeterias and snack bars lose customers to local pizza joints, and the bookstore continually fights various off-campus and online rivals. Even the classroom has commercial competitors. But the great book depository in the center of campus has always rested easy. When students needed to research and write term papers—or when faculty members planned reading lists and put books on reserve—the library was the only game in town. Until now. A half-dozen companies would like to undermine the library\'s monopoly. Styling themselves as digital libraries, course-pack providers, content aggregators, and research guides, they offer a variety of products aimed at students at all levels. None intend to replace the library, of course, but the firms are positioning themselves as purveyors of supplemental services of digital content that libraries do not provide.
There is also an interesting sidebar on the African Digital Library
Requests for veterans’ records pour in to the National Personnel Records Center at a rate of 6,000 a day. But the records center, a massive warehouse in St. Louis, is ill-equipped to handle the demand. In an age when agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration can share electronic records almost instantly, the National Personnel Records Center still operates much as it did when it opened in 1955. . . On average, it takes workers at the records center 54 days to respond to written requests for records. But sometimes it takes years.
This interesting feature from ABC News takes a detailed look at the issues surrounding the need to preserve the mass of information now being produced in digital form. It looks at efforts made by the Library of Congress and initiatives such as The Internet Archive to find ways of capturing this part of our cultural heritage and storing it for posterity. An excellent story with lots of useful links.
\"If somebody were to try to write a dissertation today about the Web in 1994, say, they would be hard-pressed to find the kind of archival primary materials that they\'d want.\"